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Wed
13
Jul

Man dies after falling into Mississippi

An Iowa man has died after being pulled from the Mississippi River just south of Clayton.

Charles Petersen, 60, of Dysart, Iowa, was a passenger on a boat operated by his wife, Deborah Petersen, 54, when he fell into the river from the rear of the boat at about 7:30 p.m. Monday, July 11.

Charles Petersen was not wearing a life jacket when he fell in and two other passengers in the boat threw him a life jacket before entering the water themselves to try to assist him. They were able to get him back to the boat, but were unable to get back on board the vessel.

A rescue boat from the Garnavillo Fire Department responded to the scene and emergency personnel were able to get Charles Petersen loaded on their boat and back to shore where he was assisted by Garnavillo paramedics. He was transported by ambulance to Guttenberg Municipal Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Wed
13
Jul

Name of man who allegedly led three-county car chase released


Mark Alan Smith, 50, of La Crosse, led law enforcement officers on a three-county chase before he was finally roadblocked by policemen south of De Soto. (Vernon County Sheriff’s Department photos)

The name of the man arrested following a three-county car chase Sunday has been released by area law enforcement.

According to Vernon County Sheriff John Spears, Mark Alan Smith, 50, of La Crosse, was booked into the La Crosse County Jail but will also face additional charges in Vernon and Crawford Counties.

The chase began following a call to a home on State Street in La Crosse. Smith, the driver and lone occupant of a black Ford Expedition, told law enforcement he was suicidal and repeatedly told officers “I want to kill myself.”

The pursuit, mainly on State Highway 35, entered Vernon County and eventually Crawford County, before it ended with Smith’s arrest just south of De Soto. Pursuing officers from all three counties, reported speeds of 70 to 80 mph. Allamakee County, Iowa, was also notified of the pursuit, in case Smith had attempted to enter Iowa.

Wed
13
Jul

Local business support, YouTube videos help teens start aquaponic farming


Friends and co-workers Hunter Boone (left), a junior at MFL MarMac, and Andrew Horner, a junior at Prairie du Chien, started a small aquaponic system, with a simple YouTube education and some assistance from their employer, Kemble’s Greenhouse. (Photo by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin

Two local high schoolers have put their YouTube education to the test on a hand-built aquaponic farming system.

Both employees at Kemble’s Greenhouse in Prairie du Chien, Andrew Horner and Hunter Boone, both juniors at PdC and MFL MarMac, respectively, constructed a small arrangement of vegetable and herb plants in a symbiotic environment with 15 tiny bluegills. They started in mid-June and their project is maturing nicely.

Wendy Wachter, Kemble’s owner and the boys’ mentor, allowed them space for their aquaponic structure behind her greenhouse and encouraged them to follow their interests. Of course, she has the resources to help them along their way too. Jim Frey Fish Hatchery, of West Union, Iowa, also worked with the pair to provide their bluegills.

Wed
13
Jul

Local pillar businesses eagerly await Crazy Days tradition


Last year's Crazy Days lived up to its name, bringing hundreds to the downtown area. (Courier Press file photo)

By Caitlin Bittner

It’s July and summer retail sales are almost at their peak, which means, Prairie du Chien’s annual Crazy Days event isn’t far away.

The sales, which are set to kick off on Wednesday, July 20, have been a staple of the downtown for many years. Lou Davis, owner of the Pickett Fence, reminisced about the scale of the event. “I vividly remember the barricades on Blackhawk Avenue,” said Davis.

“Crazy Days was a big thing. They even had food vendors. It was so festive,” added Davis. “It’s still all about going to hunt for the best bargain. It’s a great promotion. People can get high quality things for low prices.”

Wed
13
Jul

Group wants to keep another rural school from vanishing


Fritz Bradley, Franklin Gilkes, Chuck Stagman and Joe Stagman are the four men leading the Brodtville School Preservation group, which hopes to raise funds toward the restoration of the rural school. (Photo by Correne Martin)

Perhaps the most fascinating piece of history inside the old Brodtville schoolhouse is an enormous, hand-painted, fabric banner that spans over half the one room’s width and all of its height. The banner shows an honor roll of sorts of Patch Grove, Bloomington and Bagley area businesses from yesteryear. The Brodtville School Preservation members would love to know the banner’s origin and artist if area citizens would hold the key to that information. (Photo by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin

Last fall, the town of Wyalusing was looking at the future of the old Brodtville schoolhouse on County Highway P. The township considered tearing it down, as taxpayer dollars were being spent to maintain the rarely-used, historical building, with what was thought to be a decrepit foundation.

But a newly-formed organization, Brodtville School Preservation Inc., stepped in and requested the town deed them the 152-year-old building. And that is what happened. The town will continue to maintain the land and adjacent cemetery, but since the $1 transfer of ownership between the two entities, the new organization has taken over restoration of the one-room schoolhouse—a once traditional monument that’s all but vanished in rural America.

Wed
13
Jul

The chance of a lifetime: Local ball players make Team USA Junior roster


Peyton Hall (left) and Brogan Potter, both Prairie du Chien High School graduates, along with Bryce DuCharme, of Hudson (not pictured) will play on the Team USA Junior Men’s Fastpitch team at the World Championship this summer. (Photo by Caitlin Bittner)

By Caitlin Bittner

Two Prairie du Chien boys have the chance of a lifetime to play on the Team USA Junior Men’s Fastpitch team at the World Championship this summer. Both Peyton Hall and Brogan Potter, graduates of Prairie du Chien High School, have been playing softball for quite a while.

“I’ve had a bat in my hand ever since I can remember,” said Hall, who added that softball was a fun pastime for him and his dad. Hall first heard of the team from a rival ballplayer, who told him to try out for the team.

“Peyton was first, then I tried out,” said Potter.

Now, the two of them, along with Bryce DuCharme of Hudson, are the three players from Wisconsin on a roster of 19 players.

Wed
13
Jul

Dow gains Gold


Mel Dow and his son Tyler hold the team trophy Tyler helped the United States Cadet Team win at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru on July 3. Tyler is also sporting his gold medal. (Photo courtesy of Mel Dow)

 

Former Prairie du Chien Youth 

Program wrestler wins gold at Pan Am Games

By Ted Pennekamp

 

A former Prairie du Chien athlete has had a great summer of wrestling. Tyler Dow, 16, won the gold medal at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru on July 3 in the 152-pound weight class. 

Mon
11
Jul

Schwab clears up roundabout confusion

Dear Editor,

It seems our oversize equipment navigating through the roundabouts has been the topic of discussion in the Courier Press (Feb. 29 and July 6). I am writing to hopefully clear up some myths about oversize equipment and the roundabouts. 

In the Feb. 29 edition, the Courier published a picture of a drum from our facility passing through a roundabout with ease. In the July 6 story, it was stated that a drum from our facility had issues navigating the roundabouts. I believe that is a little misleading and led to some interesting Facebook posts about the roundabouts. The load did have issues but they were mechanical in nature with the steerable axles on the trailer. Without this mechanical issue, the drum load would have made it through without any issues. 

Mon
11
Jul

Finn clarifies American flag statement

Dear Editor,

My apologies to those whom are offended by my display of the American Flag, upside down. As was explained in the article, I feel that we are a nation in distress over mass shootings, and even individual shootings.

I certainly mean no disrespect to our servicemen, or our country either. The display is not illegal. As court cases in the past have ruled, its legal to sit on the flag, burn the flag, spit on it, wear it as clothing and anything else you can imagine. I feel that if we can get enough people to do the same (fly it upside down), it’ll be a visible sign to Congress that we want action, ANY action. They don’t seem to really care.

We used to fly the flag at half-mast after a mass shooting to exhibit our mutual sorrow for those lost but we don’t do it any more because there’s at least one mass shooting per week and it doesn’t make good news any more. It should always be at half staff!

Mon
11
Jul

Man sentenced for stealing human remains

A retired National Park Service official was sentenced Friday to one year of home detention and 10 weekends in jail for stealing Native American remains from Effigy Mounds National Monument in 1990. 

Thomas Munson, 76, of Prairie du Chien, was the superintendent of Effigy Mounds north of Marquette in 1990 when he ordered another employee to pack the bones into two cardboard boxes. He then drove the boxes to his home where he stored them in his garage. 

The remains of the Native Americans, who died hundreds of years ago, stayed in Munson’s garage for more than two decades and suffered damage due to inappropriate storage conditions. 

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